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CRES Application Guidelines

Read the Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships 2017-2018 application guidelines.

New for 2017:

  1. Applications will be submitted through a web portal.
  2. There are different applications for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees.
  3. Lead mentors must submit a separate application for each trainee.
  4. Lead mentors will only be awarded up to four undergraduate trainees, plus one graduate trainee OR one postdoctoral trainee. However, Lead mentors may apply for as many trainees as they wish.
Follow the instructions below to complete your application.

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Part 1: Personal Details

Lead Mentors

The Applicant is the Lead mentor. The Applicant is not the Trainee.

The Lead mentor must be a UC San Diego Academic with PI eligibility.

PIs and Academics who are already PIs by exception on an existing award are eligible to apply for a CRES trainee. PI exception will not be granted for a CRES award.

Lead mentors should propose to advise no more than one trainee at the graduate or postdoctoral level. No more than four trainees should be proposed at the undergraduate level, unless prior approval is obtained (email cres@ucsd.edu). Each undergraduate trainee will require a separate application. If there are multiple trainees on the same project, application text/materials can be reused from one application to the next. Requests to support multiple trainees in a lab, program or center will be evaluated based on available funding and the projected ability of the mentor(s) to use the project’s results to expand the project by raising extramural funds.

Lead mentors should meet with their trainees on a regular basis.

Lead mentors who have received FISP funding in the past are eligible for CRES, but preference will be given to new applicants.

Lead mentors may also be Co-mentors on an unlimited number of applications.


No Co-mentor is required for undergraduate applications.

At least one Co-mentor is required for graduate and postdoctoral applications. There may be up to two Co-mentors. Co-mentors must be PI eligible and be from a different academic division than the Lead mentor.


If the name of the trainee is unknown, please type TBD in any required fields.

Undergraduate trainees who have received FISP funding in the past are not eligible for CRES. Graduate and postdoctoral trainees who have received FISP funding in the past are eligible for CRES, but preference will be given to supporting trainees who have not previously received FISP support. Graduate trainees must be enrolled full-time and be in good academic standing.

Part 2: Proposal Requirements

Proposal Abstract

200 word max. If funded, this abstract will be used in a press release announcing the Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships. The abstract should therefore be written in language that is clear, accessible to the educated layperson, and avoids unnecessary technical terms.

Research Theme

UCSD’s grand research themes, as explained in the strategic plan, focus on four multidisciplinary areas where our campus has deep and broad expertise. They are rich with possibility for creation and innovation, education, and training. The complexity of each theme requires multidisciplinary, collaborative, and innovative solutions, while also providing exceptional educational and training opportunities across the campus.

Choose one research theme:

  • Understanding and Protecting the Planet
  • Enriching Human Life and Society
  • Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity
  • Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society


Maximum budget by Trainee category:

  • Undergraduate Student; $3,000
  • Graduate Student; $25,000
  • Postdoctoral Scholar; $25,000

The budget period will be from 1/1/2018 to 9/30/2019 (21 months). There is no IDC associated with these scholarships.

Scholarship funds are intended to be maximally flexible. If a scholarship is awarded, the Lead mentor should spend funds according to the submitted budget. All budgeted items must directly benefit the trainee.

Funds for trainees may be spent on:

  • Salary, stipends and/or benefits to support existing trainees or to recruit new trainees
  • Computers* Note! Any computer purchased with CRES funds is the property of UCSD.
  • Supplies and materials, including small equipment
  • Recharges
  • Trainee travel
  • Conference registration

Funds are subject to all restrictions governing State funds. A partial list includes advertising, alcoholic beverages, donations, honoraria over $250/event/day, legal proceedings, fines, penalties, special entertainment, tickets to shows, tobacco and others. For more information on unallowable expenses, please consult with your fund manager.

Contacts for CRES financial questions:

  • Undergraduate Student Awards: Kenneth Tomory, ktomory@ucsd.edu
  • Graduate Student Awards: The trainee’s department/program Graduate Coordinator, or with the Financial Support Unit of the Graduate Division, Kathryn Murphy, kjmurphy@ucsd.edu.
  • Postdoctoral Scholar Awards: Jennifer Oh, jenn@ucsd.edu

Comments to the Administrator(s)

Please write any comments you have about the application process. If you applied for FISP in previous years, how does the new electronic system compare? These comments will be used to evaluate the application process, and will only be visible to CRES administrators. The application review committee will not see these comments.

Part 3: Upload Files

All files should be uploaded as individual attachments.

Description of Research

One page maximum, 12 point Times New Roman font, one inch margins all around.

  1. Briefly describe the proposed work.
  2. What aspects of the proposed work make it potentially transformative?

Investigative Team

Half page maximum, 12 point Times New Roman font, one inch margins all around.

  1. Briefly describe your team, including the Lead mentor, all Co-mentors, and the trainee (if known).
  2. What about the proposed collaboration makes it novel? If the mentors have previously collaborated on research and/or education efforts, what makes the proposed collaboration new/different?


Please attach between one and ten citations.

CV of Lead Mentor

Two page maximum.

CV of Co-Mentor(s)

Two page maximum per co-mentor. CVs are required of all Co-mentors.

CV of Postdoctoral Trainee

Two page maximum. Trainee CV is only required for postdoctoral trainee applications. Undergraduate and graduate trainee applications should not include a trainee CV.

Co-Mentor's Letter(s) of Intent to Collaborate

You may use the template in the application Competition Files, but it is not required. Letters of intent to collaborate are required from all listed Co-mentors. If there is more than one Co-mentor, a single letter listing all Co-Mentors is acceptable, as are separate letters that are attached as a single document.

The CRES application for 2017-2018 will be available starting September 21, 2017.  Deadline: October 12, 2017, 11:59 p.m. PDT

Review Criteria

Applications for the Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships will be scored by review committee members using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the proposed work (50%)
  2. Innovative character of the proposed work (30%)
  3. Strength of the investigative team (20%)

The faculty review committee will make funding recommendations to the Vice Chancellor of Research.

In addition to the recommendations from the faculty review committee, leadership will also take into consideration previous FISP funding, and the perceived likelihood that the project will promote equity, diversity, and inclusion across UC San Diego.

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See also